Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The beauty and wonder that is Machu Picchu

 Lucky us -  Dave and I got to go to Machu Picchu for 3 days without the kids (thank you Pam and Angie!).  What a wonderful opportunity for us to go somewhere that people plan to go their entire lives.  It was a such a wonderful experience, from the gorgeous train ride from Ollantaytambo, the beautiful hotel we stayed in that overlooked the Urubamba River and Machu Picchu Mountain, to the delicious food we ate, the amazing hikes we took with our guide, Roberto, to just having alone time to really take in what a wonderful, beautiful, magical place this really is.  The Andes mountains are some of the most breathtaking mountains I have ever seen and to think an ancient, powerful civilization used to surround them, is just cool.  I think we will return someday when we can hike the Inca Trail and also go see the new Machu Picchu - Choquequirao.

I apologize for the amount of pictures, but how can you edit out such beautiful photos!

You can see the line of the Inca Trail in this photo

We reached the top of Machu Picchu Mountain at more than 10,000 ft. (more than 2,000 feet higher than the ruins and 4,000 feet higher than hotel, which we hiked back down to in the afternoon).

Coca leaves for mother nature

Many of the rock formations at Machu Picchu were made to look like the surrounding mountains

We were at the top of the mountain just moments before!

Ahh, at the valley floor again (well, 6,000 ft anyway).  Almost back to the hotel for our massages.

Our wonderful hotel, Hotel Sumaq

Machu Picchu town, or Aguas Calientes

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